August 31, 2013 § 18 Comments


This past week, my mother has been at Burning Squirrel, a pagan ritual in Louisiana where elderly Southern women drink margaritas and dance before a large burning squirrel effigy in the hope that, in the coming season, the squirrels spare their garden vegetables and don’t strip their pecan trees.

My mother, of course, denied that this is where she was going, even though I could see the body paint peeking through the polyester sleeve of her blouse.

“I’m not going to Burning Squirrel,” she said. “And if you think I’d join that bunch of squirrel-butt-kissers and window-box gardeners begging some heathen varmint god not to raid my tomatoes, you’ve got another thing coming. I’ve got a shotgun. That’s my form of prayer.”

“Swear you’re not going.”

“I swear on my Uncle Luther’s grave.”

“You hated Uncle Luther. In fact, I hear you spat on his grave.”

“That was a beautiful funeral” she admitted. “But I’m telling you I’ve never been to Burning Squirrel. I’m going to the great annual Southern Women’s Bridge Tournament and Outraged Disapproval of Youth Culture Extravaganza.”

“Sure you are.”

“We’ll be having a mock twerking competition to the music of the great Tennessee Ernie Ford. And if you’re writing that stupid blog again, don’t think you can use terms like ‘twerking’ or ‘blow me’ and think I won’t look them up on Wikipedia and box your ears good.”

“I won’t,” I promised.

“And don’t have me do ridiculous things like pretending my hands are pistols and twirling them around the air like Yosemite Sam,” she added, as she made pistols with her thumb and forefinger and twirled her hands around in the air like Yosemite Sam.

“Fair enough.”

“Now get out my way. I’ve got to finish packing for Burning Squ — Burning Bridge. The bridge tournament.”

“You’re going to Burning Squirrel and you know it. Remember when you came back last year with your blouse worn out in the elbows and your flapper shoes scuffed at the tips and the front of your home permanent singed?”

“That was a tough tournament.”


“Nonsense! I’m a Christian woman and an upstanding member of Sinners Vamoose United Methodist church.”

“Then explain this!” I shouted, opening her suitcase with a flourish to reveal a margarita machine, two pairs of clean socks, and Desperate, her calico cat, who looked up at us indifferently.

I glared at my mother. “Don’t tell me you were going to sacrifice Desperate this year.”

“Fine, fine,” she said as Desperate jumped out. “The squirrel god would have been pleased with such a fat and furry sacrifice, but never mind. I’ll just use a signed first edition of one of your novels.”

“So you admit you’re going.”

“Yes, I’m going! When you have a garden, you do what it takes. Besides, I’m going to win the volleyball competition this year. I have the vertical leap of a cheetah.”

Just then, I looked out the sliding glass doors and saw a squirrel furtively tiptoeing toward her pecan tree.

My mother ran to the door, wrenched it open and screamed: “BLOW ME, SQUIRREL BASTARD!”

The squirrel froze, his eyes two terrified saucers, until a brave comrade darted out, grabbed him under the arms and dragged him away.

My mother looked at me. “Just getting it out of my system.”

She zipped up her suitcase. “See you in a week. And make sure that damn calico doesn’t jump the fence.”


(Burning man image © Aaron Logan)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Twerking is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, sliding back and forth in a graceful movement resembling a waltz or box step. Twerking is only done by the highest classes and is a gesture of refinement, good breeding, and music appreciation.

The word “twerking” is of uncertain origin. Possibilities include a contraction of “footwork“, or a portmanteau of twist and jerk.[1]

‪Blow Me

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

Blow Me is a southern expression used mostly by women of a certain age to politely tell a squirrel to vacate a garden, pecan tree or fruit-bearing bush.

The word “Blow Me” come from the Latin Word contraction of “Blowus Meus“, or “Squirrel Be Gone.”


§ 18 Responses to BURNING SQUIRREL

  • The Rabbit says:

    You will surely burn for this one, my sister. Are you trying to get disinherited? All the shotguns will be mine!

  • I was thinking maybe I could get away with it on the eve of my birthday, no? No? Oh okay. Well, take care of the shotguns.

  • Old Woman (Prior to Facebook and BLOG I was a saintly mother.) says:

    How well I remember the pain of your birth 49 years ago (or was it 51?). But, you were such a beautiful, sweet baby that I soon forgot that pain. (I’ve only come to remember it the past few years since Facebook and BLOG were invented.)

  • David Harrell says:

    U are perhaps the funniest woman in the world (well, the US…)

  • Thank goodness for you, your mother and Wikipedia. Now I know all I need to know,

  • Thanks Patrick! Unlike Wikipedia, my mother is always right.

  • Gayla says:

    Hilarious fare that brightened a gloomy morning. I am terrified of squirrels finding them to be upper class rats with all their fur. How does on join this group? No hazing by having to catch one with your bare hands I would hope. 🙂

  • Debbie Bowie says:

    I’d like to join. The little fu, er, buggers are raiding my neighbor’s Asian Pear tree, absconding with the loot through my front yard, sitting on my steps (the ones in the shade of course) and eating them, leaving parts all over my steps and driveway. At least they could have the good manners to run over my roof and opt for the backyard to enjoy their ill gotten gains. That way it would be my lawn guy’s problem.(Sorry Jon.) Instead I have to sweep the steps and hose the driveway to drive back the ant armies determined to finish off the spoils. And I swear to God every time I left the house today there were more when I came back. I don’t have time for this. Fuckers, I mean Buggers.

  • Sherman says:

    The SPCA called: “The best way to avoid squirrels in your yard is to
    daily dump sunflower seeds over your neighbors’ fences–year round!”
    Other than that, the neighbors won’t EVER hear a pellet gun, in which
    case you’ll want to put those sunflower seeds at the base of your most
    molested tree, sight ’em in, and take ’em out–Last Supper style! In
    two weeks time, you’ll have contrived many new recipes for stewed
    squirrel a la vengence [is mine!].

  • You are a man of great wisdom, Sherman. Your devious mind and squirrel-hardened heart will no doubt earn you a position of second Lieutenant at my mother’s side.

  • Old Woman (Prior to Facebook and BLOG I was a saintly mother.) says:

    Dear Sherman and other sympathetic friends, I read there is a “Fried Squirrel” recipe in Kendra Bailey Morris’ cookbook White Trash Gatherings…” I’m sure squirrel is “all natural”, but don’t know if you could call it “organic” – just saying…

  • I don’t like the fact that you are using my blog as a recruitment tool. This was meant purely to get under your skin and now the tables have turned. A most grim turn of fortune.

  • Your mother just said, …..”just saying”……Wow….

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